Bet­ter match

An­thopou­los joins Dodgers’ front of­fice

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - BY GRE­GORY STRONG

For­mer Blue Jays gen­eral man­ager Alex An­thopou­los joins the Los An­ge­les Dodgers as its vice-pres­i­dent of base­ball op­er­a­tions on Tues­day. “It’s re­ally ex­cit­ing for me be­cause I do think it’s a great fit,” he said.

For­mer Toronto Blue Jays gen­eral man­ager Alex An­thopou­los is back work­ing in base­ball again.

The 38-year-old Mon­treal na­tive will serve as the Los An­ge­les Dodgers’ vice-pres­i­dent of base­ball op­er­a­tions. The Na­tional League West divi­sion cham­pi­ons an­nounced the move Tues­day on their of­fi­cial Twit­ter feed.

The hir­ing re­unites An­thopou­los with Ismael Cruz, who served as his for­mer spe­cial as­sis­tant and di­rec­tor of Latin Amer­i­can op­er­a­tions be­fore join­ing the Dodgers last Novem­ber. An­thopou­los will also be work­ing with Dodgers gen­eral man­ager Farhan Zaidi, a na­tive of Sud­bury, Ont.

“We are thrilled to be bring­ing Alex on board,” said An­drew Fried­man, the Dodgers’ pres­i­dent of base­ball op­er­a­tions. “Farhan, Josh (Byrnes, se­nior vice-pres­i­dent of base­ball op­er­a­tions), and my­self all have long-stand­ing re­la­tion­ships with him and be­lieve his ex­pe­ri­ence and per­spec­tive will be a tremen­dous as­set to our or­ga­ni­za­tion.”

Af­ter build­ing a team that made its first play­off ap­pear­ance in 22 years and came within two wins of a World Se­ries ap­pear­ance, An­thopou­los sur­prised many fans and base­ball ob­servers in Oc­to­ber by de­clin­ing a con­tract of­fer to re­turn to the Blue Jays.

Team pres­i­dent Paul Bee­ston re­tired a few days later and was re­placed by for­mer Cleve­land In­di­ans ex­ec­u­tive Mark Shapiro. An­thopou­los said he didn’t feel a re­turn to the Blue Jays would be a good fit, and he was even­tu­ally re­placed by Ross Atkins.

Toronto posted av­er­age re­sults dur­ing most of An­thopou­los’s ten­ure un­til a se­ries of trade-dead­line moves last sum­mer helped send the team on a se­cond-half surge.

The Blue Jays won the East Divi­sion crown and beat Texas in the Amer­i­can League Divi­sion Se­ries be­fore fall­ing to Kansas City in the ALCS.

Toronto is ex­pected to con­tend again this year. There are some holes in the pitch­ing staff but the Blue Jays still boast one of the most feared line­ups in the ma­jor leagues.

The Dodgers are also ex­pected to be strong af­ter a 92-70 cam­paign last year.

Los An­ge­les fell to the New York Mets in the Na­tional League Divi­sion Se­ries.

An­thopou­los spent his first few years in the sport (2000-’03) in lower-level po­si­tions with the Mon­treal Ex­pos.

An­thopou­los

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